Review by Cortezattic
Germain Plum Cake - Spicy, licorice-like, and somewhat garish
Germain Plum Cake is a quality aromatic, as opposed to a cheap, cased Burley concoction one might find on the shelves of an American drugstore. From the tin its fine cut ribbon, almost a shag cut, emits a spicy smelling bouquet with hints of anise, fennel, and perhaps even a soupçon of cedar. I feel that it needs a little drying time to facilitate a loose packing in the bowl.
It lights and burns very nicely and generates a nice volume of smoke with moderate nicotine content. The predominant taste is fairly sweet, spicy, and licorice-like. Well, maybe it’s better to say that it tastes like something related to the family of dark spices: fennel, caraway seed, anise, licorice, etc. – with hints of something medicinal in the background. I don’t find anything plum-like about it – except that the flavor is, well, “dark”. Overall, the flavoring is a bit too intense for me. I think it upstages the tobacco way too much. There aren’t any strong floral tastes or odors, but the flavoring has the same obtrusive character that Lakeland scents have; and the finish lingers for a long time. Toward the end of the smoke some bitter edges emerge: tastes that resemble very dark-roasted coffees – and to me, the best part of the experience. I haven’t noticed that it ghosts the pipe – at least not in an unpleasant way; but if you decide to sample this blend, try it out in a corncob pipe first.
The burn was nice and dry, and it smokes surprisingly coolly for such a thin-sliced ribbon. If you’re a fan of strongly flavored tobaccos, or the tastes related to licorice, then you should probably give this a try. If I had the time, inclination, and tobacco tweaking resources, I would probably try to cut the blend to reduce the strength of its flavorings. But I think I’ll just put the Mason jar aside and visit it on those rare occasions when I need an “in your face” spicy experience. For sure, I’m going to try this on a hot, sultry summer day when softer flavors seem to get washed-out by humid conditions.